LONDON — In days gone by, if the U.K.’s development sector wanted a hearing from the government, it would have sent delegations to visit officials at Westminster or persuaded a sympathetic member of parliament to ask a question in the House of Commons.
This still happens of course, but times are changing, and nongovernmental organizations are finding new ways of engaging with government.
Last month, the NGO Sightsavers chose the banks of the River Thames as the home for an open-air exhibition about its A Million Miracles campaign. It remained there until the end of October, promoting a drive to fund one million operations to save and restore people’s sight in some of the poorest regions of the world.
The event was, above all, about promoting the charity’s work to a public audience — one million people are estimated to pass through this part of the South Bank every month. But it was also a chance for Sightsavers to engage the attention of DFID minister Lord Michael Bates, who joined them to open the exhibition.